Sunday, November 21, 2004

Line 14

I enjoy ticking off things while I'm here in Paris, that is, keeping track of what I have done. So far, I have been to 18 of the twenty arrondissements and taken nearly every Metro line.

I was at first appalled and later delighted at my most recent Metro line addition: Line 14. Line 14 is basically an underground monorail, so there is no train driver, and the inside of the train cars are the most spacious of any of the lines. Furthermore, there are only 8 stops on the train (compared to what seems like 50 stops on line 7), and the train speeds underground. Because of Line 14, I was able to get from the 16th Arrondissment on the West of Paris to the Bibliotheque Francaise-Francois Mitterand in the 13th, on the East side of Paris in 35 minutes. To quote Larry David, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

At first I thought that Line 14 was frivolous and somewhat defiant of other Metro lines. First of all, there just seems to be too much space in the car. I have gotten used to being crammed up next to my other vacant-eyed Metro compatriots, the concept of personal space withering away from my memory. Line 14 seems to acknowledge, however, that more space can be afforded to Metro riders. I don't know about that.

Also, like I said, there are only 8 stops on the Metro. If you need to go to Pyramides or Bercy, you're in luck, but want to get anywhere on the Left Bank--no Line 14 for you! It seems to both discriminate against Left Bankers or Left Bank destinationers. Still, a friend made a good point: it goes through several key Metro hubs in Paris, so even if you're not necessarily getting off at Gare de Lyon, you can transfer at Gare de Lyon and get there a lot faster than if you were taking Line 1 from La Defense.

Okay, clearly I'm a little too well-versed in le system Metro, so I'll sign off and admit that I have begun to plan ways to take the Line 14 as much as possible. What a gem!

No comments: